Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Viejo Chicago: Day One

It was a sunny Saturday in Chicago, when ESC NYC and ESC NJ Fistpump stamped its tickets to the Second City.

Upon arriving, Fina, Flip, the Chef, and myself headed from O'Hare to our destination, Wrigleyville, the land of Bratwursts, blondes, und traffic. It didn't take us long to reunite our rivalry with El Tri as we flashed our favorite score in front of a stand selling Mexico flags in Viejo Chicago.

After picking up food, drinking supplies (yes, there was a jager purchase), and a poor Home Depot purchase, we drove back to the airport to pick up the Meow Pump. At the point we dropped our bags at the haus and headed out towards the game. A stop was made at the Omni Hotel to pickup local expert and historian El Polaco. Several minutes of weekend gridlock rush hour traffic later, we finally got on the highway headed for Bridgeview, home of the Fire.

For those who have never been to Bridgeview, I wouldn't call it a Cosmopolitan paradise. Upon entrance, I thought I was at a county fair or rewatching a scene of the James Vanderbeek masterpiece, "Varsity Blues" with the massive gravel lots. *Cue Foo Fighters*

The stadium itself is a nice facility. Roof over the sideline seats added a nice touch. The brick facade in front also makes it unique in the American soccer landscape. We were situated in Section 134 located in one of the corner sections in the stadium. We were able to stand in the first row and were able to chant at will, but had to keep it New England clean. The 12 of us who were there sang throughout the entire match doing the usual cast of songs: We Love You, Forza Metro, Soy del Metro, and Dale Me. Thanks to those back east for the complimentary messages during the game, much appreciated. For those that didn't see the match, RBNY lost a tough 1-0 game to Chicago. A bad clearance by Diego Jimenez allowed Stephen "They call him IT" King to put away an easy chance to give the hosts the victory. Section 8 does some nice things with the flags, but overall they did not play a huge role in creating a loud atmosphere at Toyota Park. As a comparison, I'd suggest that the DC Supporter Groups are visibly louder than those in Chicago.

Highlight of the game was a token appearance by everybody's favorite reservist David Roth. Youtube's got it on tape. (Thanks Tilt.)

After the game, the group along with Pinto and the Reichert sisters ventured off to The Globe Bar to watch a replay of the USA-Cuba match. Mr. GPS told us it was a 5-10 minute walk from Aarhus (that's house for those not familiar with Denmark). Over half an hour later, we arrived at The Globe.

Not a bad bar. It reminded me a bit of Nevada Smith's, but less of a college crowd. It was pretty full when we arrived shortly after midnight. The match was historic as the US entered Havana and left with a 1-0 victory. Props to the small contingent of fellow Americans who found a way into Cuba and sang for the country. Hopefully, we will see you in Chicago.

Once we hit the 80th minute, the party truly began as the first shots of Tequila made their way to the ESC Boys. Several beers, shots, and songs later, we closed out the bar. Luckily, there was a quality Mexican joint two blocks down the road that allowed us to refuel with amazing burritos. There's not much better than a 3 AM burrito. The bars had closed up for the night and we finally headed back to Wrigleyville to call it night.

Some other notes of the trip so far:

  • On Sunday, we left from Chicago to Munich and we only traveled 10 blocks. No customs either.
  • The ultra zoom in of Google maps.
  • Local celebrity and sensation 10 Cent.
  • Ice Diving
  • Three Hour Song and German Dance
  • Acknowledgement of the Hat
  • Miller Campus
  • German Fistpump
  • Holler House
  • Cerverceros
  • Brew Crew
More updates later. Pictures and videos when I return to Jersey. Until then, I leave with you this 10 Cent inspired moment.

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